Assessment spurs on student learning. It tells students what’s important. Traditional testing methods aren’t enough to measure today’s academic and analytical skills. The Field-tested Learning Assessment Guide offers ideas to diversify assessment methods. It describes various assessments and shows how to use them. These include:

  • attitude surveys,
  • concept maps, 
  • concept tests,
  • interviews,
  • performance assessments,
  • and portfolios.


Rubrics prepare the instructor for assessment. They tell students what to expect on an assignment and its grading. They create a structure to show students their strengths and weaknesses, and for increasing evaluation consistency. The FLAG has detailed information on scoring rubrics. Here are some other sample rubrics for papers (color coded version) and talks.

In situations with too many papers and/or too little time, a standardized feedback rubric may be useful. This type of feedback may be inferior to individualized input, but at least tells the students the elements you will be looking for. The UCITE library has a good book -- Introduction to Rubrics by Danelle D. Stevens and Antonia J. Levi -- that describes the advantages of rubrics, and is a practical guide to creating them. The associated website offers blank templates for creating new rubrics.